I don’t know about you, but it feels like staying home all the time makes everything even busier than normal. There’s a lot of action on the farm this week. Plants are being moved out of the greenhouse. Lukas is being trained early in the art of watering plants.
Jacob, Michael, and Ryan worked on prepping beds for the week. Everything gets tilled and we lay drip lines out for irrigation. You have to hold on tight to make sure the drip tape stays in place and the boys were excited that there was a knife involved for cutting drip tape.
Come visit us at the farm on Friday from 4-6 and Saturday 10-12 for our vegetable drive thru. Be sure to check out the online ordering now on the website at pekareksproduce.com/shop.
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If you usually turn your nose up at turnips, you may be in for a sweet surprise with this sweet snacking turnip! This turnip is not like the one grandma used to try to get you to eat. It has a creamy white flesh that is mild and sweet, and even juicy. I promise these things are good – simply wash and enjoy! You can eat the white bulb and then use the greens in your salad. Check out this video of my 2 year old eating turnips – yes, he asks for them and yes, he really does like them.
By the way, turnips are loaded with fiber and vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2 and folate (one of the B vitamins), as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. They are also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein – that’s right, there are omega-3’s in turnips, not just fish oil and flax seed.
Get your turnips (and more) at this week’s Vegetable Drive Thru!
We are humbled by your response to our Vegetable Drive Thrus. It has become clear that this outbreak will disrupt almost every facet of life. Our challenge in the short term, is to grow crops, keep feeding people, keep our business running and stay healthy.
Some Markets are Gone.
We generally have several avenues of marketing our vegetables. This time of year, we are typically working with the University Dining systems, Omaha Public Schools, Grand Island Public Schools, two local food hubs, and several restaurants. In early March, we had just started working with a new school system. By the first week of May we would normally be starting farmer’s markets and our retail season. But as you all know, we lost most of those markets in the last few weeks. Universities are closed. Public schools are closed. Restaurants are closed. The food hubs market heavily to restaurants, so those sales took big hits. And as of this week we found out that the Sunday Lincoln Farmer’s Market will not open until June 7, and we expect the Saturday Haymarket Farmer’s Market will follow similarly. This – is – scary! We depend heavily on these markets.
A Bright Spot
But there is a bright spot – and that bright spot is you. We have been amazed at the response to our vegetable drive thrus. You are the reason we have hope that we can weather this strange time we are in. Your support for Pekarek’s Produce and our family is giving us hope. So a thousand times – Thank You!
Now as all of these markets shrink, change, or disappear, we are trying to adjust on the farm. We will continue to do vegetable drive thrus at the farm. We will begin “pop up markets” in Lincoln when crops are ready (hopefully May). This will involve ordering and paying for your produce online. Meeting us at a pre-selected location in Lincoln, and we will simply put the produce in your trunk when you arrive. This is all very new to me, so we will keep you posted on how this will work.
What can you do?
Stay healthy! First and foremost, we want everyone to stay safe an healthy. That’s the whole point of eating your fruits and veggies anyway.
One of our favorite places on the farm right now is the greenhouse! It’s a little warm respite when it’s foggy, or rainy, or wiiiindy. We head out there to get out of the house, play in the dirt and of course, check the plants and do chores!!
Soon, the cucumbers will be growing up the strings that hang down from the trellace like whispy lines that are calling to be touched. The seeds that we plant will grow into vegetables. And the small plants in the greenhouse will be transplanted.
A virus had made these times full of uncertainty. But sure enough, spring comes, the sun shines, rain falls, and plants grow. The farm is in full swing and we can’t wait to see our Pekarek’s Produce community again.
All that said, it may be some time until things go back to “normal.” This may mean adjustments in how we get produce to you, but we will make it work. We are excited to again share our produce with you this summer.
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This week, we will be trying our first Vegetable Drive Thru.
At Pekarek’s Produce, we are always vigilant about food safety. Pekarek’s Produce is already GAPs certified – GAPs stands for good agricultural practices. This means that at all times, we practice good food safety on our farm and are even inspected by an outside party.
Farm Hours – April 3 & 4
We will have our first farm hours of the year on Friday, April 3 from 4 – 6 pm and Saturday, April 4 from 10 – 12. Available Produce will include Spinach, Lettuce, Radishes, Beets, and Carrots.
How does this work?
For the current time, out of caution, we will be operating a Vegetable Drive Thru. When you pull on the farm, please stay in your car. One of us will take your order. We will go into the shed and package your order and bring it back to your car.
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Just like normal, plants are being moved from the greenhouse to the high tunnels. but this year things are moving a little differently.
With school canceled and everybody working from home, planting becomes a family affair. The two-year-old loves it, and the baby doesn’t know any better. The jury is still out with the big kids on if they like working with mom and dad on the farm this much!
The first high tunnel is planted with broccoli and call Kohlrabi. In the next tunnel we planted cauliflower and kohlrabi.
Ryan and Lukas finishes of the second high tunnel as they seeded radishes.
We’ve got lots of goodies coming along in the tunnels and greenhouse – carrots, peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, turnips, and beets. As soon as they are ready, we will share when and how you can start getting your fresh dose of Pekarek’s Produce on Facebook, the blog, and our newsletter.
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Folks, did you know that we have carrots right now! Among the other goodies we have growing in the greenhouses and tunnels that should be ready in the next few weeks – we have carrots available right now!
And while it is joyful to have fresh, crunchy, sweet, delicious carrots in the early part of March, it is not as much fun to wash them. And although there are a few warm days here and there, it is inevitible that it will be cold and cloudy when we wash carrots. Oh – and machines don’t work as well in March as when they do in Spring. So here’s a picture for you: it’s 40 degrees out, cloudy, and Katie is covered in water while washing carrots. It sounds like a complaint, but it’s actually kind of fun. It’s nice to just have things growing and be working outside.
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This time of year, we often get the question: “what do you have growing?” And the answer is usually pretty conditional.
We try to get seeds started in the greenhouse around mid-February every year. But this year, like most, we got seeds going when there was a nice, sunny snap of weather and then we got a frigid snap. And while we heat the greenhouse, the furnace can only keep up with so much.
So, it’s Leap Day 2020, and of the 500+ cucumber seeds we started, only 130 or so are up. So we will seed some more today but give them a different starting home— the house.
Now, a lot of other things are growing: turnips, radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, and onions. Some in the greenhouse, some under plastic (but not heated) in the high tunnels. Next week will work to fill the rest of the greenhouse with trays and plant more in the high tunnels.
As for the field, there’s a long time until we plant outside. In our experience, patience is a virtue…. and one cold day in March or April can wreak havoc on small plants. So we wait to plant, but there is oh so much to do besides planting – a story for another time.
If you want to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor, be sure to check o out the weekly vegetable subscription! Or get even more veggie info by joining our newsletter!
So I woke up this morning and the pain between my shoulder blades reminded me how thankful I am that i could help Ryan in the high tunnel. We were able to enjoy some of the nice sunny weather and get the high tunnel (we call this one “number 6) ready to plant.
After the last crop came out this fall, Ryan did some basic prep work to the soil – tilling, adding organic matter, etc. And now, we were able take our shovels, takes, and a nifty contraption that involves me carrying a cinder block, to build some raised beds.
It’s a beautiful picture right now, but it will be even better when the carrots, beets, radishes, and lettuce get come out of the ground.
We can’t wait to share all of this yummy goodness with you this spring! Only a few weeks and it’ll be here 🙂
It’s February 12th, and the weather is supposed to get really cold today! We’ve been spoiled by the sun and some warmer days, so we’ve been busy getting to work on the farm!
Well, the other day, I got a nice text and picture from Ryan that said “I planted you a salad.” If you’re like me and trying to eat healthy, just waiting for more fresh fruits and veggies that Ryan grows… you know how exciting this is!
Last week we planted a few trays of lettuce, spinach, radishes, and turnips for our family in the greenhouse. But this time he planted enough in the high tunnel for your families too.
We can’t wait to see all of our extended Pekarek’s Produce family again!